The name "Romania" comes from the Latin word "Romanus" which means "citizen of the Roman Empire."
Trajan's Column one of the most distinctive monumental sculptures to have survived the fall of Rome, represents a visual history of the wars between the Romans and the Dacians, with Trajan as the hero and Decebalus, the Dacian king, as his worthy opponent. Completed in 113, the column has stood for more than 1,900 years. Trajan's war on the Dacians, a civilization in what is now Romania, was the defining event of his 19-year rule. During the Middle Ages Romanians were also known as Vlachs, a blanket term ultimately of Germanic origin, from the word Walha, used by ancient Germanic peoples to refer to Romance-speaking and Celtic neighbours. The meaning of the word "Transylvania" is the land beyond the forest. Transylvania was first referred to in a Medieval Latin document dating from 1075 as Ultra Silvam ( Ultra meaning "beyond" or "on the far side of …" and Sylva (sylvam) meaning "wood or forest"). The ruins of Sarmizegetusa Regia – the capital of Dacia (present-day Romania) prior to the wars with the Roman Empire – are located in Hunedoara county - central Transylvania. The Roman capital of Dacia, Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa, was built during the time of Roman Emperor Trajan, some 25 miles away. With an area of 92,043 square miles (238,391 square kilometer), Romania is the largest country in Southeastern Europe. It is roughly the same size as the United Kingdom and slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Oregon.
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Romania is a parliamentary republic governed under the constitution of 1991, revised in 2004. The president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. The president appoints the prime minister and the prime minister appoints the cabinet. The bicameral parliament consists of a senate and a chamber of deputies. The country is divided into 40 counties and the municipality of Bucharest. Settlements are organized in villages, communes, towns and municipalities.
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